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Jackson to lift lodging restrictions

Jackson County will update its Declaration of a State of Emergency this week to lift the ban currently in place on lodging rentals of less than 30 days, commissioners decided during their meeting this evening. However, the order will contain strong guidance regarding social distancing, mask wearing and sanitation and hygiene practices.

The revised order will also reflect and support the contents of Gov. Cooper's Executive Order No. 138, which he signed today. That order, which becomes effective at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, modifies North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transitions to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19.

While he believes that it's prudent to lift the lodging restriction at this point, Chairman Brian McMahan said that restrictions could tighten up again in the future should Jackson County experience an outbreak as visitation picks up. There are currently 20 Jackson County residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19, but 13 of those cases are linked to an outbreak at the construction site for the Apodaca Science Building at Western Carolina University, Health Director Shelley Carraway told commissioners this evening. 

"This is going to be a trial and error," McMahan said. "As we start to see people come here and visit, the numbers are going to show some potential spikes. We'll just have to be very careful and watch and adjust accordingly."

The full text of Cooper's most recent order is available here. Jackson County will issue its revised order prior to 5 p.m. Friday.

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